How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ellen Your Own Question
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
Ellen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live in NY was divorced in 9/11 and my ex filed for bankruptcy

Customer Question

I live in NY was divorced in 9/11 and my ex filed for bankruptcy in 12/11. He makes 135K a year and I make 75K.
We have a mortgage with a balance of 600K and the house is valued at about 500K. It has been for sale for a year now with no offers. The mortgage has not been paid since 1/11 but it has not reached foreclosure yet and I am living in it.
I have about 25K in credit card debt. A car lease that ends in 3/12 and 80K in student loans.
Once the house forecloses, how much will I (I assume its not we) have to owe? Are we talking a couple of thousands or hundred of thousands? What happens if I cant pay that amount? Does it get wiped away or am I forced to file bankruptcy?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.

WebLaw :

*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.*

WebLaw :

Thank you for your new question.So sorry to hear of this dilemma.

If my answer is not clear to you or does not completely answer your question, please ask me for clarification by using the reply button.

WebLaw :

You will not necessarily be forced to file bankruptcy

The lender can file suit against you to collect the deficiency on the mortgage. You can file suit against your former spouse for reimbursement.

Here is why.

The divorce decree states the rights between the spouses as to which spouse will make the payments on the joint debt. However it does not affect the right of the creditor to collect from either spouse.

Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code excepts from discharge both property settlements and support obligations in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However money to be paid as part of Marital Property Settlement Agreement would be dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Money in the form of spousal support is considered a Domestic Support Obligation and thus it is not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

You can read the Code here:

WebLaw :
Customer :

Our divorce agreement states he is responsible for 2/3 of the house and me 1/3. There also is a line in there stating that bankruptcy will not affect any of our agreements, but my lawer said that wont hold in court.

Customer :

So even though he is cleared from the house in his bankrupcty, I can still get that money from him? I guess I dont understand how he can be responsible for thsi if he is cleared from it

Customer :

He does not owe me any spousal support although he was suppose to take 16K of my credit card debt adn give me part of his stocks, but my lawyer states I cant get that now bc he claimes bankruptcy.

WebLaw :

I suggest that you meet with a bankruptcy attorney locally as the information that your divorce attorney has given you is not correct.You can read the Code here:

WebLaw :

Here is a link to a free legal referral site that may assist you in locating competent local counsel:

WebLaw :
WebLaw :

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Related Bankruptcy Law Questions